So, you’ve decided you want to get a remote job, but you don’t know where to start since you don’t have any experience.
Here’s the thing, experience is very subjective, and I would be willing to bet you have more experience than you currently think you do.
It’s all about leveraging the experience you do have.
It is 100% possible to get a remote job with no experience, and in this blog post, I will share a simple 7-step framework for finding remote jobs, even if you lack the experience that other people in the industry might have.
Identifying The Skills & Knowledge You Do Have
One of the most important steps to getting remote jobs when you lack direct experience is to determine what other skills and knowledge you bring to the table.
These are known as transferable skills.
While you may not have experience within a certain scope of work or industry, it doesn’t mean you don’t have any knowledge or skills that you can use to your advantage.
Mark some time in your calendar within the next few days to sit down and brainstorm the skills you do have. Look at all your past accomplishments, jobs you’ve had, volunteer work you’ve done, etc.
It’s important not to filter anything when you do this exercise. While something may seem irrelevant, it is likely you have learned and developed some kind of skill or knowledge from those experiences you had.
For example, were you on a sports team in high school? You can develop so many valuable skills from team sports like communication skills, teamwork, the ability to make quick decisions, and maybe even leadership.
Research The Types Of Remote Jobs You Can Do With Your Transferable Skills
Once you have compiled a list of your transferable skills, you can start researching remote jobs where you can utilize those skills.
As you start researching, you can keep some of these things in mind as well:
- What kind of work are you interested in doing? Data entry? Project management? Writing? Admin? Narrowing down on some initial interests will help give you a starting point in your research.
- Do you want to work for one company, or do you want to have multiple clients?
- Do you want to work for a company, or do you want to be a freelancer/contractor? This detail is extremely important for you to know as you start to research potential remote jobs you want to apply for.
- How much money do you want/need to earn per month?
As you are finding remote jobs that fit your criteria, take time to brainstorm how you can use your transferable skills to market yourself for these positions when applying. We will cover this part further down in this post, but it never hurts to get a jump start on this.
Learn How To Use The Tools Needed In Remote Positions
Once you have narrowed down what kinds of remote jobs you are interested in and want to apply for, it can be really helpful to set aside some time to learn any tools or software that they use in that industry.
Create a list of the tools and software you need to learn, go find some tutorials or courses, and then add time into your calendar to learn.
Write A Resume And Cover Letter
Now that you know what types of remote jobs you want to apply for, you’ve learned the tools/software you will need, and you have your transferable skills, it’s time to market yourself for these jobs.
The best way to do this is to create a resume and cover letter.
An important note about this – I believe it is extremely important to write industry-specific resumes and cover letters so that you can better leverage your skills, your ideas, and your passion.
Tips For Creating Your Resume When You Lack Experience:
- The Objective Section:
This part of your resume is all about telling your potential employer or client what you can do for them and their business. And you want to keep it short, simple, and to the point.
The good news is you don’t need to have experience to be able to write an objective statement that hooks them.
Instead, focus on how you can help them by utilizing your transferable skills.
- The Skills Section:
With this section of your resume, you don’t want to list every single skill you have. Try to be mindful of how much time the person reading your resume has and share only the most important, impactful information.
One strategy I like to use is pulling up a job listing in the industry I am writing a resume for, finding a scope of work, and then listing my transferable skills that directly correspond to that scope of work. You can also add in a couple of other skills that you think will be relevant based on the research you did in step 2.
- The Experience Section:
This might be the part of the resume you are the most unsure about because you feel you lack the experience. But again, you probably have more experience than you give yourself credit for and you just need to leverage that experience.
Take the list you wrote in step one, and work that into this section. You can even include headers like volunteer, extracurriculars, etc.
And when writing the blurb underneath each section, utilize bullet points to make it simple and easy to read and focus only on the aspects that either suit the scope of work or any other relevant bits that you think would be beneficial to your potential employer/client.
Here are just a couple of other tips you can keep in mind when writing your resume.
- If you don’t have a lot of experience, utilize more space on the resume to focus on your skills and achievements.
- Make sure your resume is just one page.
- Keep it clear and simple. The person reading this resume likely doesn’t have a lot of time, and by keeping it on point, you are respecting their time, telling them what they need to know, and giving them more mental space to process what you might bring to the table if you were to work for their company.
Tips For Creating A Cover Letter When You Lack Experience
Writing industry-specific cover letters can really set you apart because it shows you have taken the time to do your research and that this job is important to you.
And it’s okay that you don’t have experience! There are a lot of clients and employers that will hire someone when they can see that the person is passionate, dedicated, and really excited about what they can do for the company/client.
Your cover letter should always focus on what you can do for their company, how you can help them, and the passion you have for this industry.
Create A Portfolio (if needed)
In some industries, you may need a portfolio, so you will want to set aside some time to create one. This may feel daunting if you don’t have any experience yet.
What I recommend is:
- Creating pieces for your portfolio with that being the sole purpose. For example, if you are a photographer, go take photos with the sole intention of adding them to your portfolio. If you are a writer, then write. If you are a project manager, create a fake project and plan the entire thing out, documenting your process.
- Do volunteer work in the industry. While you might want to start charging right away, sometimes it can be good to do the work for free in exchange for being able to add it to your portfolio.
(These volunteer jobs will also give you more experience which you can add to your resume!)
Choose The Best Platforms
You want to be where your potential employers or clients are. This can include places like LinkedIn, Instagram, Indeed, Fiverr, etc. You likely even found some of this while you were researching the types of remote jobs you want to apply for.
Take some time to review the best platforms where the people you want to work with are hanging out, and then get active on that platform.
This can include optimizing your profile, networking, sharing valuable feedback, participating in the conversations, etc.
Networking can be one of the most valuable things you do at the start of your remote working journey.
There is no marketing you can do that will ever compare with word of mouth.
Set aside time in your calendar every week, if not every day to spend time networking. And when you are engaging with people, be sure to be present and provide genuine value to the conversations.
Enhance Your Skills
As you start to network and apply for the remote jobs you are interested in, you can also spend some time enhancing your skills.
This can include strengthening your existing skills and learning new skills that you can add to your resume.
If you have several skills you want to learn or develop, I recommend listing them out on a piece of paper, and then prioritizing them based on:
- the level of importance for your ideal remote job(s)
- the overall impact they will have
Not all skills are created equal, so make sure you are intentional about this.
And if a skill isn’t going to have a major impact, I would recommend spending your time networking or doing a free job or two to build your experience instead.
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